Human-centred technology is tech designed with us – the end user – firmly in mind, responding to our needs and desires.
Whether it takes the form of an app, device, system or website, it enhances our ability to achieve our work, study or social interactions by according equal priority to the human and technical design requirements.
Well-designed technology feels intuitive (while poor design feels as though you're learning a new language). Think Spotify, FitBit, Venmo, and even meal-box subscription platforms like Hello Fresh. What all these have in common is their use of technology to provide solutions to real problems, desires or challenges.
In short, they make our lives better and easier.
Why is it more important than ever?
As we trickle back into workplaces and classrooms with increased digital literacy (and reliance), we're likely to expect our technology to function better than ever before.
Many of us have had the chance to compare work technology with our personal tech, and want to translate the positive experiences of working from home into our study or work environments. A valid question at the forefront of our minds will be: 'When the reliance on technology (personally and professionally) has never been greater, why isn’t workplace and education technology as personalised and responsive as personal tech?'
This is particularly important in the education space where so many learning interactions that used to happen face-to-face have moved online. Post-pandemic, the desires, values, motivations and insights of staff and students need to be at the forefront of process or service design, and human-centred technology is almost certainly the answer to this.